Monday, May 27, 2013

Zion National Park (Utah)

We spent our morning in Las Vegas at the Monte Carlo eating a brunch buffet and swimming in their pool so we got a later start than we had initially hoped. Our drive from Nevada, through Arizona and into Utah was spectacular. Did I mention we ended up with a jeep again?

We arrived just as the sun was going down. The view from our campsite was amazing. Good thing we wear headlamps and Josh is a pro at cooking dinner in the dark!

Here is a Go Pro video of our campsite:

The next day we were ready to hike. We hiked the lower, middle and upper emerald pools as well as the grotto and into the narrows. Zion is all sandstone next to the Virgin River. You'd better believe there is fresh spring water leaking out all over. The waterfalls and pools of water are crystal clear and for real emerald green. The river and springs have carved out the rock into really cool tunnels and windy paths. We thought it felt sort of like nature's playground. It was bar far the most beautiful place I've ever been. Pictures cannot begin to do this place justice.

Staying hydrated while hiking in the desert is key. Luckily you can fill up your water bottles all over the park at their filling stations. The drinking water is fresh spring water directly from the park and it's delicious. Josh was smart to bring his camel pack. We escaped feeling hydrated and also not sun burned. Lucky us!

Here are some pretty flowers we saw along the way:

We especially loved hiking up to the emerald pools. On the way up you have to walk under little waterfalls. It feels so good to get hit with that cold spring water in the midst of a hike. Can you see the water dripping down on Josh?

Here's a Go Pro video of us hiking through a little waterfall:

We also hiked into The Narrows. This begins as a relatively short hike that ends at the Virgin River. Actually it doesn't end there but rather it begins. The Narrows is a place where the river flows into (out of?) the canyon. The water is about knee deep and you can hike through the river for miles and miles into tunnels that the water has formed into the canyon. The water is ice cold and very fast. We weren't able to get as far as the folks who were equipped with walking sticks and neoprene shoes but we went in for a ways. Here I am looking up up up at how high the canyon goes.

We hiked up to the Weeping Rock on day two. Zion is the only place in the world where water flows out of the sandstone canyons and carves into them. The shape and the water flow allow gardens to grow up the walls. 

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